La Grange community anticipates annual art project
Wooden coolers will be sponsored, designed, displayed to promote business, community
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As a resident who lives a short two-minute walk away from Downtown La Grange, Colleen Kirby ‘18 eagerly awaits the La Grange Business Association’s annual summer art project, which is a creative way to promote the businesses of La Grange while entertaining the public.
“[The art project] brings such liveliness to La Grange,” Kirby said. “It definitely makes my visits more enjoyable, and to see the creativity of what people came up with is always very fun.”
In past years, the project has ranged from birdhouses, to park benches to Adirondack chairs. This year, local businesses will be given the opportunity to design wooden coolers that will be displayed on the sidewalk in front of their store, Executive Director of the La Grange Business Association Nancy Cummings said.
“The idea behind [the coolers] is to give people a reason to walk and explore the different blocks of the business district of La Grange in the summer heat,” Cummings said.
All of the coolers that are a part of the “It’s Cooler in La Grange” project will be displayed starting the week before the Pet Parade held on June 3 and ending just after Labor Day, Cummings said. The coolers will then be taken to West End Art Festival on Sept. 9, which is annually held in front of the Stone Avenue train station, to be auctioned off.
In order to offer the most information about the project to members of the community, the La Grange Business Association will produce a walking map that will display the location of each exhibit and will also list the sponsoring businesses, the name of each artist and the name of the piece, Cummings said.
“The businesses are very excited to participate,” Cummings said. “Each business puts forth a highly decorated and whimsical piece, and the residents are always very enthusiastic about the creativity and design of each piece.”
As for participating business, Zen Burgos, owner of The HIT Locker, is very excited to be a part of this year’s project, she said.
“I’ve been told that The HIT Locker looks a little intimidating to some, so the fun and friendly vibe of the cooler will hopefully make someone who is unfamiliar with our super-supportive environment stop and consider taking a closer look at what we have to offer,” Burgos said.
Additionally, Burgos plans on taking advantage of this opportunity by stocking her cooler with water bottles to remind everyone to maintain hydration, an essential part of the fitness equation and a great nutritional strategy, she said.
As the beginning of the project comes closer, Cummings believes that this year’s idea will be successful in drawing attention to various businesses of La Grange, she said.
“This art project is always well embraced by the community for a couple reasons,” she said. “It’s great for businesses because it puts people right at their front door and it helps establish La Grange as a destination. People of surrounding communities like to come by and see the public art project and what it has to offer.”
Similarly, local residents share the same excitement for the beginning of the art project.
“I remember sitting down on one of the Adirondack chairs from a couple years back outside of Tate’s eating my ice cream,” Kirby said. “Those are the type of memories I won’t forget thanks to this project, and hopefully there are more to be made this year.”